The Ten Best Crucial Plays of 2010 - An Introduction

It's bleak news on the NFL front these days.  The lockout is still on, the courts are dragging their feet, the free agents are getting nervous, and us bloggers are scraping the bottom of the barrel for content to keep you guys occupied.

It's no secret that I've been quiet on the blog lately.  I'm sad to report that I don't share Danny's enthusiasm for rumor-mongering, and thus have nothing to talk about, since rumor-mongering is all we have going for us at this point.  But fear not.  A spark finally came to my head, and it involves the very site that our dearly departed predecessor now resides at.

Advanced NFL Stats is the home of the glorious Win Probability Charts.  For those unfamiliar with ANFLS, WP is a relatively simple term used to chart each team's chance of winning the game at any one particular moment.  It takes nearly every relevant nuance into account (game state, quarter, down, possession, score differential, yardage, etc.) and spits it out into a nice bite-sized percentage point.  The site even has a handy page for creating hypothetical situations.  If my team is down 10 points in the 4th quarter with 5 minutes to go, and I'm on my own 30 on 1st down, my WP is only 9% in that situation, which only makes perfect intuitive sense.  70 yards is a long way to go in 5 minutes, and being down by two possessions only stacks the deck against you.

Brian Burke's charts are also a great way of plotting the biggest swings in the game, the "momentum shifters", if you will.  So that's what I plan on doing in the near future.  My next few posts will be devoted to the 10 best WP swings in Seattle's favor (aka the "Ten Best Crucial Plays of 2010").  I will do as heavy a tape analysis of each play as my circumstances will allow me, to fully appreciate how big each play was.   After that, since we're Seattle fans and have to endure some misery, I will be doing the Ten Worst Crucial Plays of 2010; the biggest WP swings against the Hawks' favor.  The tape analysis will still be there, but rest assured it will be more bitter and alcohol-infused than my happy list full of ponies shitting rainbows.

 

Stick around.  It shall be fun.

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